About The Bloggers
LegalTech isn't just about CLE sessions on outsourcing and information management -- a true power-attendee manages to squeeze in a bit of beer and baseball too. E-discovery 2.0 blogger Kurt Leafstrand pulled off a rare feat Wednesday night by making it out to the Dodger's game with a group hosted by LTN editor Monica Bay (decked out in full Yankees gear), and to pontificate on the history of EDD.
At the game, I happened to sit next to a colleague from another
vendor who mentioned that her firm is about to celebrate twenty years
in e-discovery. Twenty years! What a remarkable milestone for any company. It got me
wondering about how much technology has evolved over that time period,
and raised an interesting question to noodle over between innings: With
all of the investment and innovation in the e-discovery space, who’s
actually winning the e-discovery tug of war, twenty years in?
Leafstrand ventures a few theories of his own, but he's interested in your thoughts on the "war against documents."
Posted at 06:13 PM in LegalTech West Coast 2008 | Permalink
Law.com technology editor Sean Doherty reports from Friday morning's keynote address by Judge Elizabeth Laporte, down in LA for the morning before flying back up to her seat in the Northern District of California. Working in a region that encompasses San Francisco and Silicon Valley, Judge Laporte has had the chance to learn a thing or two about e-discovery while presiding over disputes between some of the largest tech companies in the world.
Sean notes that "[s]he had a
lot to say about how counsel and their clients need to understand and
learn about their electronically stored information prior to attending 'meet and confers' and other pretrial discovery conferences."
The lessons to take away are not to treat the early meetings as "drive-by conferences"
and prepare for them: Do your homework. And when you know the
extent of your ESI, be prepared to discuss it openly and with candor
to your opponent and to the court. You also need to go beyond the
extent of ESI and know how it was created and how it is maintained --
all in a way that can inform the parties and the court of its nature
and accessibility, or inaccessibility. And most of all, remember that the
"cover-up is worse than the crime."
While she was at it, Judge Laporte managed to pepper her technical speech with a few literary allusions, including a formula from a Salman Rushdie story that lawyers should never let their litigation support staffs use on them, "P2C2E": Process too complicated to explain.
Posted at 05:16 PM in LegalTech West Coast 2008 | Permalink
At least two legal bloggers are promoting old-fashioned ink-and-paper books at LegalTech. J.Craig Williams, of May It Please the Court and Lawyer 2 Lawyer fame, offered autographed copies of his new tome "How to Get Sued" during Thursday's blogger breakfast. Later in the day Fios, Inc.'s corporate technology counsel Mary Mack was signing her new guide "A Process of Illumination: The Practical Guide to Electronic Discovery."
Were there any other authorial debuts in the legal technology field this week? Let us know in the comments.
Posted at 04:55 PM in LegalTech West Coast 2008 | Permalink
It's day two of LegalTech West Coast and the bloggers have had a little time to contemplate Thursday's sessions away from the show floor. Things are different out here in LA. Walking from my hotel down to the convention center I noticed other pedestrians -- not as much of a novelty here anymore as the price of gas inches past $5 a gallon -- and the fact that they actually wait at crosswalks instead of diving through the traffic like New Yorkers. It's different out among the show's booths too. There aren't as many vendors and attendees as the massive LegalTech New York extravaganza, but that means firms and IT staff have more of a chance to chew over new technologies and have in-depth discussions without worrying that another pack of Flavia-powered show-goers are going to run them down in the aisles.
So far most bloggers are still thinking through the first day's keynote address by Chevron GC Charles James:
-- Law Biz Blog: "While Mr. James disclaims any real knowledge of
technology, he certainly understands what he needs from technology to
do his job better. Those who serve customers/clients must listen to
the needs/messages from those who sign the check if they want to
survive and thrive in the future. Thank you Mr. James for being so direct and so candid."
-- Document Retention and Electronic Discovery Hot Topics: "He humbly noted that he had been overly seduced by the idea of
automation while under-estimating the value of change management to
lead to successful implementations."
-- Post Process: "His final remark was a challenge to vendors: he said that after the
country’s legal system “is fixed,” effectively ending the e-discovery
gold rush, he hoped that vendors would put as much zeal into crafting
KM solutions as they currently do with EDD."
Posted at 03:02 PM in LegalTech West Coast 2008 | Permalink
We briefly interrupt our special LegalTech West Coast coverage to note the news from the East Coast on the Supreme Court's long-awaited decision on the right to bear, well, a deadly piece of technology. Here's a quick link-wrap on the Justices' decision in the D.C. gun ban case:
-- The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times : "Initial Shots Over Heller"-- Tex Parte : "Gun Giddiness"-- WSJ Law Blog : "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition!"
Posted at 05:57 PM in LegalTech West Coast 2008 | Permalink
Rob Robinson from Orange Legal Technologies has done us one better on the legal tech blogging front. He's got a live webcam at the Orange booth right now, and he'll be interviewing many of the show's usual suspects today and tomorrow. Here's the line-up:
Thursday, June 26th (All Times PST)
10:00 am - Exhibit Hall Opens - Live Updates Begin | Law.com Blogger’s Breakfast
10:15 am - Ronda Raymond - OrangeLT™ VP of E-Discovery Services / OneO® Discovery
11:15 am - Monica Bay, Editor in Chief, Law Technology News / Blog: Common Scold
12:30 pm - Kurt Leafstrand, Director of PRD MGT, Clearwell / Blog: e-discovery 2.0
5:00 pm - Exhibit Hall Closes - Conclusion Of Day 1 Live Updates
Friday, June 27th (All Times PST)
10:00 am - Exhibit Hall Opens - Live Updates Begin
10:15 am - Brian Meegan - OrangeLT™ VP of Operations / Partner Update
11:30 am - Kevin O’Keefe, President, LexBlog / Blog: Real Lawyers Have Blogs
1:00 pm - Dr. Jim Dertouzos, RAND Senior Economist / Evidence Lifecycle Management
Posted at 04:30 PM in LegalTech West Coast 2008 | Permalink
Chevron GC and former Jones Day antitrust partner Charles James proclaimed himself a Fred Flintstone when it comes to technology during this morning's LegalTech West Coast keynote address. So how did he get picked to open the show? "I am the target... my IT needs are astronomical."
Like a guy who's had five root canals addressing a dental convention, James found himself both praising
the hard work and technological advances of his several-hundred-strong
audience, and decrying the need for that work in the first
place. He started by running through some impressive numbers. Chevron gets sued an average of 2.5 times a day, he estimates; they've got more than 400 lawyers on their in-house legal team, and spend $190 million a year on outside counsel; the oil company has about 500 law firms working for it around the world -- James says he helped winnow that down from 700 when he started in 2002 -- with the lion's share of the work going to about 35 preferred provider firms. "I go to bed each night with $10 billion in potential litigation exposure hanging over my head," he said.
He then cited some of the IT success stories he and his team have made in recent years. Chevron has an in-house Web site detailing legal procedures for their teams around the globe -- it was in shambles six years ago; now it's the first thing they teach new in-house hires how to use. Their new e-billing system for legal has given them the kind of granular info they needed to get rid of extraneous or ineffective law firms, and hire more in-house lawyers (they've added 60 in the past year). Like a grocery store's customer rewards card, it stores all kinds of added details about each firm, beyond just dollars and cents. If Chevron sees that a single lawyer at a firm is billing them more than 1,200 hours a year, James makes him or her an offer they can't refuse: Come work for us in-house, or we'll find someone else who can.
But James also took the opportunity to run down his list of vendor gripes. First, stop grossly overselling the practical capability and functionality of products. Jargon like "complete enterprise solution" and "seamless integration" are misnomers that get thrown around in far too many a vendor pitch, he complained. I knew that somewhere in the back of the room, Law Technology News editor Monica Bay was smiling in weary recognition.
Second, noting the convention center's proximity to south central LA, James quoted Rodney King: "Why can't we all get along?" Interoperability continues to be a major issue. New systems are built on proprietary standards, increasing the cost of installation, while an older but effective system loses support when its maker merges with another vendor and decides to let that product fade into history.
Finally, James lived up to his early morning promise to be controversial. "Electronic discovery is a waste of society's resources," he told the room full of e-discovery specialists. Allowing himself to fantasize out loud for a bit, the embattled oil executive painted a picture of a world without plaintiffs lawyers, litigation holds or over-zealous attorneys general. "Everything is a crime these days," he said. "I'm not being facetious." So what's left for all the legal tech vendors in this idealized where most of their work is unnecessary? Knowledge management -- tools that can help a massive, global corporate entity like Chevron take care of business effectively. And maybe help them make gas a little cheaper too.
Posted at 04:14 PM in LegalTech West Coast 2008 | Permalink
LegalTech West Coast is just getting started, and a look through the schedule reveals some don’t-miss events:
By Katie Montgomery
Posted at 11:59 AM in LegalTech West Coast 2008 | Permalink
As we gear up for the first day of LegalTech West Coast tomorrow, here's a little test of your conference knowledge -- past, present and future:
1. Who is the keynote speaker opening LegalTech West Coast '08 on Thursday June 26?
2. Where is LTWC being held?
3. What Disneyland icon is being honored as part of the FutureTech panel on Friday June 27?
4. True or False: Non-vendor bloggers can get a free full conference pass to LTWC.
5. When and where is the Bloggers' Breakfast?
6. 2008 is the ___th year of LegalTech.
7. What panel is named after a column in Law Technology News?
8. What are the dates of LegalTech New York 09?
9. Who is the Friday morning keynote speaker at LTWC?
10. Who is the head of LegalTech?
Posted at 12:04 PM in LegalTech West Coast 2008 | Permalink